Decision on ECU’s Montgomery won’t come until season’s end

Chancellor Cecil Staton issued a statement saying that the Pirates' embattled coach is safe ... for at least the next three games

ECU Scottie Montgomery walks the sideline during the second half of his team's loss to UCF earlier this season (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

  East Carolina chancellor Cecil Staton has given football coach Scottie Montgomery a vote of confidence.

  But only through the end of the season.

  Any decisions on Montgomery’s long-term future with the Pirates, which remains very much in doubt, won’t be made until after the team’s 2018 finale at NC State on Dec. 1.

  “While we are aware of the speculation concerning leadership of our football program, it would be inappropriate to address it during a time when our student-athletes and coaches deserve everyone’s unequivocal support,” Staton said in a statement issued Tuesday.

  “An assessment of the program will be made at the conclusion of the season. This program relies on the passion of our fan base and a commitment administratively that will enable the team to be in the best position possible to succeed with minimal distractions over the next three weeks.”

  Montgomery, a former Duke wide receiver and offensive coordinator, is in his third season at ECU. His overall record is 8-23 (3-19 American Athletic Conference). His current team is 2-7 (0-6) heading into Saturday’s home finale against UConn, but it has shown visible improvement over the past two seasons — especially on defense.

  The Pirates’ final two games are on the road at Cincinnati and NC State in game scheduled as a replacement for a date lost because of Hurricane Florence.

 Because ECU is currently conducting a search to fill its vacant athletic director position, it is uncertain who, let alone when, when a decision will be made on whether or not he will return next season.